For anyone who's ever played a game of blackjack, you've probably noticed that the dealer often "burns" cards. But what does this mean? Why do they do it? Is it just for show, or is there a reason behind it? The short answer is that Blackjack dealers burn cards to prevent cheating. But there's a little bit more to it than that. Let's take a closer look at why blackjack dealers burn cards and how it helps to keep the game fair.
Burning a Card Helps to Prevent Cheating
The first reason why dealers burn cards is to prevent any sort of cheating. In the past, there have been cases of players marking cards in order to gain an advantage. For example, it may surprise you that blackjack players who know an Ace is the first card to come out of the shoe have a 50% edge. Players who know the first card is a 10 would win a 14% advantage. Burning the top card makes it more difficult for players to cheat.
The second reason has to do with card counting. In essence, card counting is when players keep track of which cards have been dealt in order to get an idea of what might be coming next. This information can then be used to make better decisions about when to hit, stand, etc. If dealers didn't burn cards, players could simply rely on their memory to track which cards had been dealt with and use that information to their advantage.
Do All Dealers Burn Cards?
Not all dealers burn cards, but most do. If it's a part of their shuffle procedure, they must burn a card. Some casinos may have different rules, so it's always a good idea to ask the dealer before you start playing.
So there you have it! The next time you're at a blackjack table and the dealer burns a card; you'll know exactly why they're doing it. Cheating prevention and card counting deterrence are all important parts of the job, and by burning cards, dealers can help ensure that blackjack games are safe, fair, and fun for everyone involved.